NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 4, 2019
The Blues tied the 2019 Stanley Cup Final at two games apiece, the Jets trade Kevin Hayes to the Flyers and more CBA updates in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Ryan O’Reilly scored twice, including the game-winner, as the St. Louis Blues doubled up the Boston Bruins 4-2 in Game 4 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. The series is tied at two games apiece heading back to Boston for Game 5 on Thursday. O’Reilly’s teammates Brayden Schenn and Alex Pietrangelo each collected two points.
Blues defenseman Vince Dunn returned to action after being sidelined by concussion symptoms since Game 3 of the Western Conference Final. St. Louis center Oskar Sundqvist also returned after serving a one-game suspension for boarding Bruins blueliner Matt Grzelcyk in Game 2.
The Bruins blueline suffered a significant blow when captain Zdeno Chara left the game in the second period after being struck in the mouth by a puck. He returned to the bench in the third period wearing a full face mask but didn’t play. His status for Game 5 is uncertain.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Once again, the Blues showed a remarkable ability to bounce back from a lopsided defeat. Veterans like O’Reilly, Pietrangelo, Schenn, and Vladimir Tarasenko led the way in what was a very entertaining contest.
While the Blues dominated most of this game, the Bruins also demonstrated they’re still a dangerous club when outplayed. They tied the game twice and kept the outcome in doubt until O’Reilly’s winning goal in the third.
Chara’s absence hurt Boston’s blueline. With Grzelcyk already sidelined, losing Chara would further deplete their defense corps for Game 5 if both are unable to play.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers last night acquired center Kevin Hayes from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the upcoming 2019 NHL Draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A versatile two-way forward, Hayes had a career-best 55 point splits between the Jets and New York Rangers this season. Acquired by the Jets at the trade deadline, the 27-year-old center struggled in Winnipeg and couldn’t address their need for a reliable second-line center.
He’s an unrestricted free agent on July 1 but it’s apparent the Flyers hope to sign him before then. Flyers coach Alain Vigneault probably had a hand in this move. Hayes played for Vigneault during their tenure with the Rangers.
EDMONTON 630 CHED: Sportsnet’s John Shannon is confident the NHL can avoid another lockout with the NHLPA. He points out how both sides are doing well under the current collective bargaining agreement. The team owners are very happy with the current CBA and Shannon believes only tweaks are necessary.
Because Shannon doubts we’ll see another work stoppage, he doesn’t see compliance buyouts being part of the next CBA. He also suggested contracts terms could be shortened to five years.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shannon’s remarks are the latest in a series of optimistic reports regarding ongoing CBA negotiations between the league and the PA. Both sides can exercise their early opt-out in September but we could instead see a new agreement by then. If the league were to agree to reduce the percentage of escrow clawbacks, I can see the players agreeing to a five-year cap on their contract.